Introduction: We investigated the mechanisms underlying immobilization-induced muscle pain in rats.
Methods: In rat skeletal muscle, pressure pain threshold (PPT) of the gastrocnemius muscle was measured, and nerve growth factor (NGF) level, peripheral nerve fiber density, macrophage number, and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) mRNA expression were examined. An NGF receptor inhibitor was injected intramuscularly to assess the relationship between PPT and NGF levels.
Results: Immobilization resulted in a decrease in PPT and increases in NGF level, C-fiber density, M1 macrophage number, and IL-1β mRNA expression. Injection of NGF receptor inhibitor reversed the decrease in PPT.
Discussion: NGF upregulation may be a major contributor to immobilization-induced muscle pain. The increases in C-fiber density, M1 macrophage number, and IL-1β mRNA expression may be related to immobilization-induced muscle pain.
Keywords: C fiber; M1 macrophage; NGF; immobilization; muscle pain.
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